- Creativity Cure 1: Take small breaks. More...
- Creativity Cure 2: Keep a daily passion log. More...
- Creativity Cure 3: Stop living up to the standards of other people's ideas about creativity. More...
- Creativity Cure 4: Dedicate a space to creativity. More...
- Creativity Cure 5: Notice the details of your life. More...
- Creativity Cure 6: Make inspiration cards. More...
- Creativity Cure 7: Take some time and write a history of your creativity. More...
- Creativity Cure 8: Work on more than one project at a time. More...
- Creativity Cure 9: Take a field trip. More...
- Creativity Cure 10: Start an inspiration wall. More...
Friday, December 28, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
(Image Graciously Provided by KAR)
Today is Dose of CREATIVITY's first birthday. I am happy to celebrate with all of my devoted readers, who have been super supportive these past 12 months.
To keep providing you with the content you crave, I've created a short (it's less than 15 questions!) survey to help improve this blog in the upcoming year.
As a 'thank you' for completing the survey, I'll email you a copy of Dose of CREATVITY's Top 10 Creative Cures, including a never before posted bonus one.
- The survey is now closed. Please email me comments and suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Do you believe becoming a creative genius is an isolated and individual process? Most people would agree with you but not Keith Sawyer. In Group Genius: the Creative Power of Collaboration he dispels this myth by using improv and jazz as successful examples of group creativity. In both processes, a small spark is created when group members interact with one another by building on previous sparks.
Sawyer goes into more depth about these sparks, even explaining that they occur in all stages of the collaborative creative process:
- Time off
- The spark
What makes this different from most theories of group creativity is that you don't have to participate in a traditional brainstorming session to get results. In fact, the most fascinating part of the book is when Sawyer debunks the myths of Morse, Edison and Darwin as individual geniuses. Instead, he explains how they developed their ideas during years of exploration, outside influences, and previous inventions.
This theory appeals to what I've always believed about creativity and that is that you can't create in a bubble. You need to embrace random experiences and diverse opinions and blend them with your personal style.
- Who has shaped your creative spark?
Friday, November 30, 2007
This all got me to thinking about the creative process and how each of us has our own style for completing projects.
Typically, the creative process is defined as follows:
- Preparation (defining what you will create, researching and studying possibilities)
- Incubation (stepping away from your project and letting your mind rest)
- Illumination (when the idea explosion occurs)
- Verification (testing the final product)
- What's your creative process?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
- Start an inspiration wall. Whenever you see something that strikes you, from a quote to a scenic view or even a new product, put it up on a bulletin board. Before you know it you will have an entire collection of inspiration.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Here are more collages from my recent series. This one is my favorite, so far. The background turned out really well. And the rooster juxtaposed on the chair creates a dreamy quality.
This one has an interesting linear background and the best quote I think so far, "the future has arrived."
- If you created an art series, what would be the theme?
Sunday, November 18, 2007
On the flip side, this post from Applied Imagination points to research that those who studied music while growing up were more likely to pursue advanced degrees and even succeed as college presidents and CEOs. That doesn't sound flaky to me.
- What do you think?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Did you know cardinals represent creativity? They are associated with the guiding forces of expression and intuition. Think about this the next time one crosses your path. It may be time to invest in a creative project.
- Check out this project for inspiration.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
- How can you forget yourself to enhance your creativity?
Thursday, November 8, 2007
That leads me to the interior, which comes across as stark and difficult to navigate. The design is meant to foster community spirit but for me it came off as cold and impersonal. It further frustrated me that there was a lack of signage for locating the actual gallery space. Once inside the galleries, there were signs next to nearly every painting discouraging touching the works and explaining why. As someone, who worked in museums, specifically managing visitor services, I felt they were condescending, considering museums with much better collections don't even have to reinforce this at every turn.
My final grievance with visitor services was their overzealous staff. I had never been followed so aggressively in an art museum, even at the National Gallery of Art, where I've wandered through gallery after gallery without being followed like a shoplifter.
(Image Courtesy of KAR)
On a much lighter note, my visit to Stan Hywet was delightful. Some of my favorite highlights were the scarecrows (see above image). Unlike traditional scarecrows, these were colorful and whimsical often incorporating architectural and decorative arts elements. It was an interesting contrast between the old and the new and very refreshing.
- What can you create that is a new take on something old?
Monday, November 5, 2007
- Take a field trip. It doesn’t have to be an exotic locale. It could be to an ethnic food market or restaurant you’ve never been to. See what insights you discover about yourself and your creative projects. Leaving your comfort zone, even for a short time can induce new ideas and perspectives. For sites out of the ordinary, check out Roadside America.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Today marks the second day of Día de los Muertos, also known as Day of the Dead, a primarily Mexican celebration of the deceased.
Learn more about the symbolism and artistry of the offerings made to the spirits of dead friends and relatives from visual artist Joe Polevoi.
When: Sunday, November 4 at 2:00 pm
Where: Lakewood Public Library, Main Library Auditorium
- See you there!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Being creative is something you work at every day, not just when you feel like it. The true rewards of creativity and bringing something new into existence occur only after you have put in a daily practice of work.
Every morning, for the last several months, I have noticed a spider web attached to the driver's side mirror of my car. The first day I simply swatted it away. But then, to my surprise, it appeared again the next day. I decided to leave it, but with driving and the occasional rain storm or car wash, it eventually falls off. The most amazing thing though is that every morning it is there again. I've come to the conclusion that this is one determined spider. Despite losing it's creation on almost a daily basis, each night this spider spins another web. True creative inspiration.
- What obstacles do you overcome to create?
Monday, October 29, 2007
- Which category do you fall into?
Friday, October 26, 2007
I realize it has been awhile since I've posted images of my work. But now that I am in creative mode this morning, I thought I'd share some recent pieces.
Here is one I completed as part of a series of small works (postcard size) using fashion and design imagery. I've juxtaposed this with themes of time and memory on a colorful and textured background.
- More to come.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
(Image Courtesy of Heights Arts)
Some of my favorite pieces in the show were created by Karin Bartimole. Her collaged books are like mini sculptures. Don't you agree?
(Image Courtesy of Karin Bartimole)
- Check it out before it closes on October 27.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
After reading Jack's Notebook, I've become more interested in creative problem solving (CPS). It's definitely a tool worth checking out for solving problems in both life and work with many applications.
- Check out Win Wenger's techniques.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
(Akron Art Museum)
As museum budgets and staffs get smaller, their buildings surprisingly expand. Usually designed by cutting edge architects, they are an to attempt to lure visitors through unique design. Unfortunately, it seems like they are all looking the same; glass and steel structures twisted in contorted shapes. Where is the creativity?
Later this month, I'll be visiting the new Akron Art Museum. Stay tuned for my review.
- Check out more new museums here.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
- What can you achieve using creative problem solving (CPS)?
Monday, September 24, 2007
- Make inspiration cards. Buy a stack of plain note cards and whenever an idea or inspiration strikes, write it down. At the end each day look over your cards and see if there are any patterns or paths you should take with your creativity.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
(Image Courtesy of Cleveland Artists Foundation)
Interested in learning more about Modernism in Cleveland?
What: A conversation on the history of the "aesthetic" of Modernism
Where: Cleveland Artists Foundation, at the Beck Center for the Arts
When: Thu, Sep 20: 6-8 pm
Free and open to the public
- See you there!
Monday, September 17, 2007
(Image Courtesy of Ithaca Fine Chocolates)
What do you get when you combine two of my favorite things: art and chocolate? Art Bars. Created by Ithaca Fine Chocolates, Art Bars contain fair-trade certified organic chocolate and a collectible card featuring an art reproduction. Plus a portion of the profits support art education. Brilliant!
- Find out where to buy them here.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
(Image Courtesy of Berea Arts Fest)
For those of you in the Cleveland area this weekend, the Berea Arts Fest returns. I missed the Fest last year because I was in LA, so I am looking forward to experiencing it for the first time this Sunday.
Unlike other area arts festivals that simply display work by professional artists, the Berea Arts Fest focuses on promoting involvement in the arts and includes art by students and visually impaired artists as well.
You can also participate in a community art project or make something in the family art area. It sounds like a great opportunity for both adults and kids to explore their creativity.
- See you there! Sunday, September 9 from 10 AM - 5 PM.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum wants to help you find one. The New York based museum has launched an interactive online calendar of design events. You can even add your own event.
- Check it out here.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
According to research out of the University of Minnesota, people in rooms with 10 foot high ceilings were found to have more abstract thoughts than those, who focused more on specific details, in 8 foot high ceiling rooms.
So does this mean people who think outdoors are the most creative because the sky is their ceiling? Just curious.
- Read it here.
Monday, August 27, 2007
- Dedicate a space to creativity, whether it’s a room, desk or even a notebook. Keep your inspiration area easily accessible for new ideas to bloom. For more inspiration, check out Where Women Create: Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women by Jo Packham.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
After promoting Keri Smith's guerilla art techniques, I discovered that she now has a full length book on the topic. Hurrah!
It covers everything from what is guerilla art to what to be aware of when creating art in public spaces and exercises and templates to fuel your creativity. I love how she describes that you don't have to be able to draw or paint to be a guerilla artist; you just need to care about something and want to express yourself.
She describes 3 ways to approach guerilla art:
- beautifying - altering your surroundings
- questioning - using your voice, challenging the status quo
- interacting - with the environment or people
- Pick up a copy of the Guerilla Art Kit and try out some more ideas.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
- Check it out before it closes on September 16.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
- Find out how you can volunteer. (It doesn't matter where you live)!
Monday, August 13, 2007
- Stop living up to the standards of other people's ideas about creativity. Everyone’s innate sense of creativity is unique. It’s that quality that allows us all to continually shape our lives. For one day, suspend all judgment, including your own.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
My workshop How a Dose of Creativity Can Reduce Stress, Boost Self-Esteem, and Increase Success will be held from 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm. This interactive parent seminar will dispel the myths of creativity, highlight the benefits and provide tools to encourage your child's imagination.
For instance, did you know that participating in the arts, even badly is a whole body activity that promotes a mind, body and spirit connection? Making art and engaging in creative activities involves the whole self, both logical and emotional. Tension is released when you get into the flow of your creative passion. Plus our self-esteem is boosted after we successfully finish a creative project. All of this helps us to succeed in life and work.
- Find out more on Saturday, August 11!
Friday, August 3, 2007
- Check it out this Saturday, August 4 from 10 am - 6 pm
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
- That's the point of this fun tutorial on creative thinking.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
(Image Courtesy of Slightly Askew)
Because I am an advocate for using the skills you learn developing personal creativity to improve your community, I was excited to learn about Slightly Askew coming to Cleveland.
Slightly Askew is an experimental group from NYC, with a local connection, that combines art, education, performance and culture. They have landed in Birdtown, a part of Lakewood that I have family ties to. While in the neighborhood, they are working with local residents and teens to create a video project documenting the history of this unique neighborhood. In exchange, the teens are learning skills and gaining knowledge about other cultures and history.
- How can you use your creativity to build community connections?
Monday, July 23, 2007
- - - Eugene Delacroix
- What are you creating that says more than what's already out there?
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
(Image Courtesy of the Bonfoey Gallery)
During a recent day trip up to the Lake Erie Islands, I stumbled upon a small gallery. At first writing off the shop as another touristy art trap, I was pleasantly proved wrong, when I discovered some small works by Ohio artist Susan Danko.
They were constructed like reverse shadow boxes with the painting on the back of the box providing a hollowed surface to hang the works easier. The dreamy landscapes were layered with vivid colors and lines, which reminded me of contemporary designs.
- Check out her paper installation. Doesn't it remind you of a giant collage made from fragments of her paintings?
Monday, July 9, 2007
- Find your own techniques by, well, being creative. How do you finish a creative task?
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Soon, we begin a new bi-monthly feature on Dose of CREATIVITY called creativity cures. My goal is to provide one small dose based on my own experience that will help you develop or enhance your creative thinking ability. While there is no formula for sparking creativity, there are small things that can help shift your perspective. Some may work for you and some may not. The purpose is to get you to try something different. Creativity starts with an open mind and an exposure to a wide range of ideas.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
(Courtesy of United States Artists and the Urban Institute)
I think this graph says a lot about how we view the arts in this country. From this statistic, USA, United States Artists was created to support artists. Their goal is to inspire innovation at its source by investing in artists. Last year, they awarded grants to 50 artists totalling $2.5 million. The organization is funded by foundations, arts patrons and corporations and awards $50,000 grants in the following disciplines: Architecture & Design, Crafts & Traditional Arts, Dance, Literature, Media Arts, Music, Theater Arts and Visual Arts.
- Learn more about becoming a fellow here.
Friday, June 15, 2007
(Image Courtesy of MOCA LA)
Ok, to say that I am a bit obsessed with the feminist art movement is an understatement. I spent over 6 years in undergrad and grad school doing research on it. So when this exhibition debuted earlier this year, I was ecstatic. The feminist art movement transformed the landscape of the art world in the latter half of the 20th C. It opened up new dialogues about what it means to be a woman artist and has paved the way for the artists of today.
- If you've seen the exhibition in LA, please let me know what you thought, since I won't be making it out there. Thanks!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
- Try the artist version or any of the others for inspiration.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
My collage, Chinese Holiday, will be featured in the National Collage Society's Postcard Exhibition at the Art Dialogue Gallery in Buffalo, NY.
- Check out the exhibition if you are in western New York. It will be up till July 13.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
After working on the pieces for my mail art class I became inspired and took a collage class at the Cuyahoga Valley Art Center to further explore this fascinating art form. Here is an example of what I created.
- Try creating your own collage using found objects.
Monday, June 4, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
- The official opening is Friday, June 1 from 7-10 pm. Preceding the opening is a panel discussion on public space at 5:30 pm.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
While there, I met Phoebe Marie, a collage artist. Her work was featured in the show and is delightfully whimsical.
- Check out more of her work here and let me know what you think.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I would suspect that most people don't even notice the many design elements that surround them on a daily basis. Training your eye to look at design is an easy way to enhance your creativity. Now, more than ever, we are exposed to more choices in our lives.
Think about it the next time you are out shopping. Try to figure out what draws you into specific stores and what makes you buy. It's probably the design.
- Check out design*sponge for more examples of contemporary design.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
The Top This TV challenge by Heinz is another fun contest to exercise your creativity. Create a commercial for the famous ketchup and get paid $57,000. Commercials will appear on YouTube then the finalists will be voted on by you.
- Check out contest rules here.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
How can people learn more about Ten Zen Seconds?
EM: The book is the best resource. You can get it at Amazon. Or you can ask for it at your local bookstore. The Ten Zen Seconds website is also an excellent resource: in addition to the slide show that I mentioned, there is a bulletin board where folks can chat, audio interviews that I’ve done discussing the Ten Zen Second techniques, and more. It’s also quite a gorgeous site, so you may want to visit it just for the aesthetic experience! I would also recommend that folks check out my main site,http://www.ericmaisel.com,/ especially if they’re interested in creativity coaching or the artist’s life.
What else are you up to?
EM: Plenty! I have a new book out called Creativity for Life, which is roughly my fifteenth book in the creativity field and which people seem to like a lot. I also have a third new book out, in addition to Ten Zen Seconds and Creativity for Life, called Everyday You, which is a beautiful coffee table book about maintaining daily mindfulness. I’m working on two books for 2008, one called A Writer’s Space and a second called Creative Recovery, about using your innate creativity to help in recovering from addiction. And I’m keep up with the many other things I do: my monthly column for ArtCalendar Magazine, my regular segment for Art of the Song Creativity Radio, the trainings that I offer in creativity coaching, and my work with individual clients. I am happily busy! But my main focus for the year is on getting the word out about Ten Zen Seconds, because I really believe that it’s something special.
- Eric, thanks for taking the time to chat!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Can you use the incantations and this method for any special purposes?
EM: As I mentioned, folks are coming up with all kinds of special uses. One that I especially like is the idea of “book-ending” a period of work, say your morning writing stint or painting stint, by using “I am completely stopping” to ready yourself, center yourself, and stop your mind chatter,and then using “I return with strength” when you’re done so that you return to “the rest of life” with energy and power. Usually we aren’t this mindful in demarcating our activities—and life feels very different when we do.
How do the incantations support the the creative process?
EM: Primarily by reminding a creative person that potential is just potential and that if you don’t completely stop, quiet your mind, announce your intention to create, feel equal to the upcoming challenge, take actual action in the service of your creating, and adopt the stance of a meaning-maker, someone who knows that she has a voice and that what she is about to say potentially matters, she will do precious little creating. Each of the incantations supports a piece of this “stopping and doing the work” process.
How would you address those that say centering is counterproductive to the creative process?
EM: There is a tremendous amount of “artist mythology” out there. Productive artists do a ton of work, they don’t wait for inspiration, and because they want to work for hours on end they have to master their inclination to run from the work when it becomes difficult, which it will at some point every day. It takes a centered presence to stay put like that, diving into the darkness of mystery and returning with poems, paintings, and symphonies, not an anxious, scattered presence. I would say that it is almost completely a piece of unfortunate mythology that centering harms artists—when they aren’t centered, they typically fall apart, grow depressed and self-destructive, and do poorer work.Is there a way to experience this process in 'real time'?
EM: By trying it out! But my web master Ron Wheatley has also designed a slide show at the Ten Zen Seconds site (http://www.tenzenseconds.com/) that you can use to learn and experience the incantations. The slides that name the twelve incantations are beautiful images provided by the painter Ruth Yasharpour and each slide stays in place for ten seconds. So you can attune your breathing to the slide and really practice the method. The slide show is available at http://www.tenzenseconds.com/test_photo_slide.html
- Try practicing the ten zen seconds incantations.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
What is Ten Zen Seconds all about?
EM: It’s actually a very simple but powerful technique for reducing your stress, getting yourself centered, and reminding yourself about how you want to live your life. It can even serve as a complete cognitive, emotional, and existential self-help program built on the single idea of “dropping a useful thought into a deep breath.” You use a deep breath, five seconds on the inhale and five seconds on the exhale, as a container for important thoughts that aim you in the right direction in life—I describe twelve of these thoughts in the book—and you begin to employ this breathing-and-thinking technique that I call incanting as the primary way to keep yourself on track.
Where did this idea come from?
EM: It comes from two primary sources, cognitive and positive psychology from the West and breath awareness and mindfulness techniques from the East. I’d been working with creative and performing artists for more than twenty years as a therapist and creativity coach and wanted to find a quick, simple technique that would help them deal with the challenges they regularly face—resistance to creating, performance anxiety, negative self-talk about a lack of talent or a lack of connections, stress over a boring day job or competing in the art marketplace, and so on. Because I have a background in both Western and Eastern ideas, it began to dawn on me that deep breathing, which is one of the best ways to reduce stress and alter thinking, could be used as a cognitive tool if I found just the right phrases to accompany the deep breathing. This started me on a hunt for the most effective phrases that I could find and eventually I landed on twelve of them that I called incantations, each of which serves a different and important purpose.
Which phrases did you settle on?
EM: The following twelve. I think that folks will intuitively get the point of each one (though some of the incantations, like “I expect nothing,” tend to need a little explaining). Naturally each incantation is explained in detail in the book and there are lots of personal reports, so readers get a good sense of how different people interpret and make use of the incantations. Here are the twelve (the parentheses show how the phrase gets“divided up” between the inhale and the exhale:
1. (I am completely) (stopping)
2. (I expect) (nothing)
3. (I am) (doing my work)
4. (I trust) (my resources)
5. (I feel) (supported)
6. (I embrace) (this moment)
7. (I am free) (of the past)
8. (I make) (my meaning)
9. (I am open) (to joy)
10. (I am equal) (to this challenge)
11. (I am) (taking action)
12. (I return) (with strength)
A small note: the third incantation functions differently from the other eleven, in that you name something specific each time you use it, for example “I am writing my novel” or “I am paying the bills.” This helps you bring mindful awareness to each of your activities throughout the day.
- Please join me on Friday, when Eric answers questions about using this method during the creative process.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Eric Maisel, Ph.D., is the author of more than thirty books and is widely regarded as America’s foremost creativity coach. He has presented nationally and internationally on subjects like personal creativity, creativity coaching, Zen and creativity, and mindfulness practices for the creative person.
Dr. Maisel holds undergraduate degrees in philosophy and psychology, master’s degrees in creative writing and counseling, and a doctorate in counseling psychology. He is a California licensed marriage and family therapist, a creativity coach and trainer of creativity coaches, a columnist for Art Calendar Magazine, provides regular segments for Art of the Song Creativity Radio, and teaches Ten Zen Second techniques through lectures, workshops, and teleseminars.
- Stay tuned next week for more information.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
As pioneers of the British punk movement in the late 70s, the Clash are the ultimate creative artists. Their musical influences range from jazz to hip hop and reggae. Combining these influences they were able to evolve as artists and transform themselves from angry punk rockers all in black to funky ska artists and finally the militant performers of combat rock.
Recently, I had the opportunity to learn more about these versatile performers at an exhibition that covered their ambitious career. Featuring performance clips, handwritten lyrics, stage costumes and guitars displaying their creativity.
- Don't miss this exhibition, which is up till October 2007 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum